BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
Corpses are decomposing at Marondera Provincial Hospital due to non-functional mortuary refrigerators, it has emerged.
This was revealed by Marondera Central legislator Caston Matewu (MDC Alliance) during a Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ)-organised community reporting workshop at the weekend, where he said his office had since invited Health minister Obadiah Moyo to visit the institution.
“I did a tour of Marondera Provincial Hospital late last year alongside my colleague Honourable (Brightness) Mangora (Proportional Representation). Dead bodies are decomposing at the hospital and one can smell the odour about 20m away from the mortuary. We later realised that only one of the seven refrigerators was working, the other six are dead. It is a crisis,” he said.
The medical institution is the major referral hospital in Mashonaland East province.
Matewu added that he had since approached government over the situation, with Moyo expected to visit the hospital anytime soon.
“I wrote to government urging them to shut down the mortuary and engage local private funeral parlours to arrest the problem. I engaged the Health and Child Care minister who is expected to visit the hospital soon. I also spoke to Energy minister (Fortune) Chasi so that he ensures the hospital gets constant power supply as well as water, among other things,” Matewu said.
According to a survey conducted by NewsDay, each refrigerator has a carrying capacity of three bodies.
It is reported that the refrigerator is now carrying six bodies.
Marondera Provincial Hospital has not been spared by the current health system collapse, which has also seen the institution going without enough medical
Some of the medical personnel have since left for Europe following the doctors’ strike over low salaries and poor working conditions.
A top official at the hospital yesterday confirmed the crisis and said all relevant authorities had since been alerted.
“It is a crisis. There is only one fridge working. The issue has since been reported to the minister through the PMD [provincial medical director]. The Minister of State for Provincial Affairs (Apollonia Munzverengi) was also apprised of the matter last year. The officials here even recommended the closure of the mortuary,” the official said on condition of anonymity